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Biden, Trump, and Kennedy Jr. may face off in the approaching election

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN
Claire Geriak
The United States have the upcoming 2024 elections in front of them, and voters have yet to declare a clear popular candidate. Created on Canva on Nov. 20.

Three years ago, former President Donald Trump and incumbent President Joe Biden faced off during one of the most tension woven presidential elections.  Over the next year, the cycle will begin again.

Politicians of the Republican, Democrat and Independent party are all battling to hold their ground beneath the shadow of Biden and Trump. Both surpassing their competition in the polls by landslides, analysts suspect that Biden and Trump will race neck and neck just as they did three years ago.

An unsuspecting third party has recently risen from the ranks, with the power to possibly turn the tide of the election. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announced his decision to run for candidacy back in April of this year and since, his approval rating suggests possible success. 

 In a poll conducted by the collaboration of the New York Times and Siena Polls, statistics show that amongst the youngest age bracket of registered voters, Kennedy is taking the lead.

As of Nov. 5, 34% of voters aged 18-29 responded that they would vote for Kennedy in a hypothetical three-way election of Biden, Trump and Kennedy. 30% responded that they would vote for Biden, and 29% responded in favor of Trump. 

Kennedy’s popularity amongst young voters is most likely due in part to his alignment with Democrat ideologies. His projected policies to raise the national minimum wage, increase environmental and health protection, rework the student loan infrastructure, and protect civil rights, are all hallmarks of the Democrat party.  

In the 2020 election, 50% of people aged 18-29 voted, remarkably higher than 2016 when only 39% of the age group voted. Of the group, 71% of women and 53% of men voted Democrat. 

This generation’s majority political affiliation being aligned with the Democrat party, could be linked to multiple world events over the last two decades. For the last twenty years,  environmental protection policy has been strongly advocated as awareness has risen in correlation with worsening climate change effects. In the last twenty years, mass shootings in America have steadily increased to a record high from previous decades. In the last four years, the COVID-19 pandemic and its losses were felt globally. In the last couple of years, economic instability has rippled through employment, housing and commerce. Growing up in an era marked by uncertainty, instability and distress, could influence the decision to affiliate with a party that will provide solutions to those problems. 

Additionally, the youth of today have significantly higher diversity of people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Historically, both groups tend to align themselves with the Democrat party. 

Pew Research discovered that, “among Americans ages 13 and older found that, similar to Millennials, Gen Zers are progressive and pro-government, most see the country’s growing racial and ethnic diversity as a good thing, and they’re less likely than older generations to see the United States as superior to other nations.”

During Trump’s presidency, Pew statistics revealed that, “ registered voters ages 18 to 23 (22%) approved of how Donald Trump is handling his job as president, while about three-quarters disapproved (77%).”

With his growing approval rating, election analysts have begun creating surveys pitching Biden, Trump and Kennedey in a hypothetical three-way battle

In a survey by Politico, drafted with the hypothetical three-way, Biden is averaged to take 39% of the votes, Trump 36% and Kennedy, not so far behind, with 22% of votes. 

22% wouldn’t be enough to win the electoral college, but hypothetically he could gain enough support to siphon votes from Biden or Trump and knock one of them out of the running. The poll also suggests that so far Kennedy has already begun pulling votes from Trump rather than Biden. 

Biden’s approval rating continues to plummet as his current term comes to a close. Harvard’s Institute of Politics, polled young Americans ages 18-29 and revealed that Biden’s performance approval rating stands at a low 36%, dropping five points from spring of 2022. 

Statistics can only guess so far when it comes to the unpredictable outcomes of presidential elections. The California state primary election is set to be held on March 5, 2024. 

In regards to the 2024 election, I hope that Americans are not left to choose between either Trump or Biden for the second time. In my opinion, during both of their terms they each proved that they are incompetent and are incapable of serving the American people. In today’s climate, with world tensions at a high, a crashing economy and America heavily divided politically, it is essential that we elect someone with new insight and bipartisan policies. The election of another Kennedy would hopefully begin a brighter chapter for America.

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